Zero hours contract template

In this article, we'll give you a run through of what you should be including in your zero hours contract template

Setting out a zero hours contract template can be more complicated than a standard employment contract.

>See also: Zero hours contracts advantages and disadvantages

You must clearly state that it’s a zero hours job and the contract should clearly outline their status and rights. How it operates and what the termination process looks like.

Note that, as of April 6, the right to written terms and conditions extends to workers – this includes zero hours workers. Employers must include terms relating to hours and days of work and how those may be varied.  

>See also: Zero hours contract rights

Below are some areas to focus on and some example phrases that you might want to use when drafting your own zero hours contracts. It’s a wise idea to seek additional advice from an employment lawyer. For more on creating general employment contracts, check out What should you include in an employment contract?

Type of work

This is where you state what kind of contract the person is on – in this case, whether they’re a zero hours worker or a zero hours employee.

Try: The Business is delighted to welcome you as a zero-hours worker/employee. Under this type of employment, you are entitled to a number of rights including protection from discrimination, rest breaks and the national minimum wage.  

Status of agreement

A status of agreement is where you set out the intent and what you’ve discussed prior to signing the contract.

Try: This contract will set out the necessary terms agreed between you and the Business as to how and when you will carry out your work.  

How work will be carried out

In this section you’ll go over the place of work, who you report to and how you’ll be notified of shifts.

Try: Your normal place of work will be [place of work] or we may owe you work at various destinations. The locations will be within [a specified range].

You will be paid [£x] per hour for the hours you work, minus tax and national insurance deductions.

You will be paid [monthly or weekly] on or around [specified time frame]. Payments will go directly into your nominated bank account.

You will be entitled to the following benefits: [List benefits available]

For every [x hours worked], you’ll be entitled to a break of [x hours/x minutes].

You will report to [manager’s name] when you come to work or if any issues arise.

We’ll normally notify [type of worker] with shifts [mode of contact/process]. We may vary these from time to time. If you are unable to do a shift, contact [manager’s name] as soon as possible. If we must cancel one of your shifts, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. We have the right to terminate shifts for reasons pertaining to the business.        


This is as it sounds – holiday entitlement and pay.

Try: Your holiday entitlement will be equivalent to 12.07 per cent of the hours you work in each holiday year. We calculate this on a pro-rata basis, depending on the number of hours worked.

The holiday year will run between [x date and x date] each year inclusive.

At the end of each year, [name of your business] will pay you in lieu of any holiday accrued for the holiday year in which the assignment ends. The amount of the payment in lieu will be calculated on the basis of:

  • 12.07 per cent of the hours that you worked in the relevant holiday year
  • Minus any hours of holiday that you have taken in that holiday year
  • Multiplied by the average hourly rate payable over the last 12 weeks in which you earned pay from us

Absence due to illness

Again, an obvious one. It goes over what sick pay they’re entitled to and which hours/shifts it applies to.

Try: If you meet the legal conditions, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the period of sickness for your agreed hours.

Termination and changes to contract terms

This section stipulates what happens if either of you want to terminate the contract and if there is a notice period involved.

Try: If you no longer wish to work with us, please inform [specified person] and we’ll terminate your contract [with immediate effect or with specified notice period]

Read more

Zero hours contract redundancy

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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Zero-hours contracts

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